‘Take Care Of Those Close To You’ – Allycia Hellen Rodrigues Details Her Mother’s Struggle With Depression

Allycia Hellen Rodrigues Janet Todd ONE Fight Night 8 83

Allycia Hellen Rodrigues learned the hard way that you don’t always know what somebody is bottling up inside.

The reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight Muay Thai World Champion – who will challenge Smilla Sundell for strawweight Muay Thai gold at ONE Fight Night 14: Stamp vs. Ham on Prime Video – moved to Thailand to pursue her dreams.

However, she didn’t realize her mother was suffering from debilitating mental health problems back home in Brazil.

It wasn’t until Rodrigues returned in 2021 to give birth to her son, Josue, that she saw the full extent of her mom’s battle with depression.

The 25-year-old opened up to onefc.com ahead of her World Title matchup on September 29:

“I never had depression, but my mother did. My father was an alcoholic, and as you know, this causes a lot of problems for the family. In addition, any other problem that there was in the family, my mother had to solve.

“There were many personal and financial problems, and myself moving to another country made everything worse. I had no idea about this, as my mom wouldn’t let my sister tell me.

“I thought she was fine, but I had no idea how sad she felt inside. I had no idea how much she would miss me. Even though we talked every day, she never got used to my absence.”

Rodrigues was devastated. She’d moved to Asia in a bid to become a Muay Thai World Champion, and even though she’d achieved that goal, she was oblivious to the harsh pits of her mother’s depression.

But now that she was back home, she could at least begin to help. The Phuket Fight Club representative soon put together a plan that she thought would give her mom a new lease on life.

Importantly, Rodrigues saw how the new grandmother doted on the family’s latest addition when baby Josue was born in September 2021, and she knew that keeping the family together would be the best move for everybody.

She explained:

“Today, I know that my pregnancy happened at the right time. But, even after returning to Brazil, my mother was still very bad. I was very shocked to see how fragile she was. That’s when I started thinking about taking her with me to Thailand.

“I stayed in Brazil for one year and three months and, to tell you the truth, only today can I see my mother 100 percent happy. It messed with me a lot at the time.

“I always leave everything in God’s hands, and I just wanted to get my mom out of that place and take her far away. That’s what I did.”

A New Beginning In Thailand

Allycia Hellen Rodrigues needed to return to Thailand so she could resume her Muay Thai career in ONE Championship, but she couldn’t leave her mom again.

She’d seen the negative consequences of that decision, so this time, Rodrigues brought the family matriarch to Phuket – even though it meant sharing one room between four people at the start.

The initial sacrifice was worth it. Baby Josue benefitted from having his grandmother around, and Rodrigues was able to return to action and successfully defend her belt.

Above all, this worked wonders for the mental and physical health of her mom, who thrived in her role as caregiver to her grandson. The family even welcomed the final missing piece of the puzzle when Rodrigues’ sister joined them on the paradise island.

Rodrigues explained:

“I started to see my mother living life and also getting closer and closer to my son. The happiness he brings us cannot be described. And today, I have my sister here with us too.

“Today I can say that my mother is radiant because she overcame all adversity, went through all the suffering, and is now reaping what she deserves, which is her happiness.

“She started to lead an active life here and today she trains in Muay Thai and does bodybuilding. Honestly, I’ve never seen her as happy and well as I see her today. That for me is priceless.”

Rodrigues has learned a lot about mental health and depression from this recent part of her life, and her main takeaway is to never take loved ones for granted.

Family is everything for the ONE Women’s Atomweight Muay Thai World Champion, and she urges others to check up on those around them in case they’re in the midst of a hidden battle.

She added:

“I know that depression is a silent disease, and that the family is not always able to help. But it is very important that you know the symptoms well and always give love and attention to the person. It’s important to always check if the person is okay.

“The best advice I can give is to always take care of those close to you.”

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